Advanced approach to dentistry
By Karen Caffarini For Sun-Times Media
Dr. Lena Halikias
If you go ...
Perfect Smiles has two
locations and specific hours of operation each day.
Where: 6056 W. 159th St., Oak Forest, (708) 687-6100; and 13033 S. LaGrange Road, Palos Park, (708) 361-4300.
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Who: Dr. Lena Halikias,
Dr. Stephanie Lemberis,
Dr. Erica Zolnierczyk,
Dr. Beena Patel Deshmukh and Dr. Chrisoula Georgacopoulos.
Perfect Smiles can provide patients a lifetime of cutting-edge general and cosmetic dentistry, from their first visit to the dentist’s office at age 2 to the awkward years spent in braces to dental implants in their adult years.
“We’re a family practice. We take care of people ages 2 and up and take pride in long-term relationships with families,” said Dr. Lena Halikias, doctor of dental surgery and one of five women doctors at Perfect Smiles’ two locations, in Oak Forest and Palos Park.
Halikias, who has been in practice for 26 years, said one of the doctors specializes in dental implants and a periodontist on staff specializes in gum work. Specialty dentistry offered at Perfect Smiles includes endodontics, pediatrics and sleep apnea, while general dentistry includes Botox, cosmetic bonding, dental implants, nearly invisible braces, veneers and teeth whitening.
She said all five doctors work with children, noting that a positive first experience in the dental chair can lead to a lifetime of good dental habits.
Avoiding oral cancer
Halikias said Perfect Smiles is one of a small number of dental practices that has a VELscope, the latest device in testing for oral cancer in its early stages. She recommends her adult patients have the American Dental Association-recognized test done at least once a year, especially if you’re a smoker or chew tobacco.
“Oral cancer is on the uprise. HPV (human pappiloma virus) has been seen in the mouth, too, causing oral cancer. The disease has become rampant in young women and men,” Halikias said.
She said the VELscope can detect a variety of oral abnormalities through three intensities of light. She said there is no radiation, pain or anesthetic involved with the test.
For teens and adults who need braces to give them the perfect smile, but don’t want to walk around with a mouth full of metal, Perfect Smiles provides a solution, Invisalign, which offers several different types of braces, all of which are less noticeable and often take considerably less time than traditional ones.
Those with ill-fitting dentures can get a better solution with dental implants. Halikias said the implants, which are more permanent, anchor dentures in place so they don’t move and greatly improve chewing function.
Giving back smiles
Halikias, a board member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry for seven years, doesn’t just create beautiful smiles for her patients. She provides her services, free of charge, to women who have been victims of domestic violence.
Halikias is the founder of Chicago Smile Foundation, housed in the dental office, which provides free dental work to women in area shelters so they can get back to work. She also is involved with the national Give Back a Smile program, offered through the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation.
“It’s my way of giving back to the community,” she said.